The Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has described the country’s poor rating by Transparency International in its 2012 Corruption Perception Index (CPI) as an indication that Jonathan’s Presidency is delusional and out of touch with reality when it claimed that corruption has gone down under its watch.
In a statement issued by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party expressed concern at the negative impact of corruption on the economy and image of the country.
It expressed worries that if left unchecked, corruption is capable of further worsening the implications of insecurity in the country.
The ACN noted that the “harvest of corruption scandals” that have dogged the Jonathan administration is probably unprecedented in the country’s history, and that this has been attested to by the global anti-corruption body in its latest CPI. It expressed sadness that despite the presidency’s self-delusion, Nigeria remains among the most corrupt nation’s on earth.
According to the latest CPI, Nigeria — Africa’s most populous nation and one of the continent’s biggest economies — was not listed among the top 35 least corrupt nations in Africa, even when it is ranked the 35th most corrupt nations in the world!
“It is also instructive that Liberia and Sierra Leone, which Nigeria helped to liberate from the throes of war, are now doing much better in fighting corruption than the country (Nigeria), just like much smaller and less-endowed nations like Niger, Gambia, Burkina Faso and Mali are better rated.”
It blamed Nigeria’s precarious position in the global anti-corruption battle on the proneness of the Jonathan administration to corruption scandals and allowing impunity to thrive by paying only lip service to probing the scandals and bringing perpetrators to book.
“The massive oil subsidy scam, the Malabu oil scandal, the pension scam, and now the Nigerian Security Printing and Minting 2.1 billion naira scam are just a few of the corruption scandals that have dogged the Jonathan administration. In all of these and more, the administration has shown an amazing lack of political will in investigating the scams and prosecuting perpetrators,” a part of the statement read.
“Worst still, key administration officials have shown from their careless comments that they either do not understand what it means to fight corruption or they are just trivialising it.
“One of such is Petroleum Minister Diezani Alison-Madueke, who was quoted as saying that Nigerians are unable to get petroleum products without stress because they demanded transparency and accountability in the oil sector. What the minister is saying, in essence, is that uninterrupted fuel supply as well as probity and accountability cannot go hand in hand, that Nigerians much choose between enjoying abundant fuel supply and a well-managed, corruption-free oil sector. In saner climes and with an administration committed to fighting corruption, such a Minister will be long gone!”
ACN lamented that amidst the glaring evidence of worsening corruption in Nigeria, President Jonathan has continued to talk and act as if the country is in fact corruption-free, adding that it wonders what is responsible for the wide gulf between the president’s perception and the reality on the ground.
“President Jonathan must wake from his slumber and face the reality that corruption is fast eating deep into the soul of Nigeria, having already decimated the body,” the statement added. “He must stop playing the ostrich, and lead the way in the fight against corruption before it consumes the country.”